‘We Need Buses & Ferries Back In Operation’

September 28, 2021 | 8 Comments

“The OBA encourages both government and union leaders to show Bermuda that they serve the interests of everyone,” OBA MP Scott Pearman said, adding that “we need buses and ferries back in operation now.”

Mr Pearman– the Shadow Minister for Legal Affairs and Transport – said, “We urgently need to resolve the transport work stoppage. Today is the 12th day without buses on our roads, a failure amplified by additional ferry stoppage.

“The Opposition does not wish to add fuel to the fire. We have discussed the stoppage with both Government and the BIU, encouraging all parties to reach a solution. We remain hopeful common sense will prevail.

Minister of Transport Lawrence Scott’s press conference on the matter yesterday

“At present, the parties disagree about why work has stopped. The BIU considers this is a health and safety issue, having initially complained buses were inadequately cleaned, and having requested a meeting they did not get.

“Whereas Government considers this a labour dispute. It says the drivers failed to appreciate how much cleaning was already being done and did not await investigation before commencing “an unlawful work stoppage” based on a misunderstanding.

“The BIU denies the work stoppage is a labour dispute, it says it is merely about health and safety.

The BIU Bus Division’s press conference on the matter yesterday

“Importantly, both sides agree the initial complaint has been resolved. Yet an impasse remains: the BIU says drivers must be paid for unworked days. Government says ‘no work, no pay’.

“The OBA encourages both government and union leaders to show Bermuda that they serve the interests of everyone, with any personal agendas put aside.

“Government has now referred the dispute to a labour tribunal. In theory, this should end the work stoppage. However, the BIU contests Government’s referral, contending the health and safety stoppage, does not amount to a labour dispute capable of referral.

“Regardless of who is right, it is the Bermudian public who continues to be caught in the middle.

“Monday saw the Government hire mini-buses in a contingency plan outlined to Parliament last week. The BIU responded telling Government: “Let’s have a conversation”.

“Dialogue is always welcome. The One Bermuda Alliance will continue to engage with both sides to try and find a resolution, which is urgently needed.

“We shall see if Government’s tribunal referral brings a return of service. Respectfully, who was right, and whether pay is due, can and should be decided at a later date. We cannot have any further stoppage while the BIU debates whether Government was right to refer to the tribunal.

“We need buses and ferries back in operation now. The public must not suffer further,” Mr Pearman added.

The official Government notice about the matter was included in yesterday’s official notices:

Notice Of Declaration Of Labour Dispute

Notice Type: Government Notice
Notice Sub Type: Public Notification
Notice ID: GN0930/2021
Public Authorities / Department: Ministry Level
Publication Date: 27 September 2021
Gazette Extraordinary

Published by Authority

Gazette Notice No. _____

Notice Of Declaration Of Labour Dispute

Pursuant to section 72 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations [Consolidation] Act 2021, I declare that a labour dispute exists between the Department of Public Transportation and the Bermuda Industrial Union.

In accordance with section 70, of the Trade Union and Labour Relations [Consolidation] Act 2021, I am referring the said dispute for settlement to the Employment and Labour Relations Tribunal established under section 44B of the Employment Act 2000.

In accordance with section 87 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations [Consolidation] Act 2021, after the publication of this Notice, any lockout, strike or irregular industrial action short of a strike is unlawful and any person who takes part in, incites or in any way encourages, persuades or influences any person to take part in, or otherwise acts in furtherance of, a lock-out, strike or irregular industrial action short of a strike that is unlawful under this section shall be liable to a civil penalty as may be imposed by the Employment and Labour Relations Tribunal.

Dated the 27th day of September, 2021.

The Hon. Jason P Hayward JP, MP

Minister of Labour

click here Bermuda bus service

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Comments (8)

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  1. Dejavu says:

    Actually we don’t, the mini buses are doing fine and the ferry barely ran as it was. Save the money and fix our roads

  2. puzzled says:

    Friends and family and BIU don’t do buses and ferries.

    Don’t you get it folks?

  3. sandgrownan says:

    Do we? Do we really? Sell them off, and hire new staff.

  4. Fisherman says:

    Saw a bus this morning at bus stop in Shelly Bay heading west. Bus drivers..not in favor of what is going on, man/woman your bus.

  5. thelma foster says:

    when is enough grow up all of you every body want to chief no indian

  6. Hey says:

    This letter should have been sent when this whole thing started. Too slow PLP

  7. Tarzana says:

    Its amazing how selfish and self centred Bermudians are….. 35+ bus drivers are out due to covid and personal reasons. why does no one seem to care about their safety. why is there no talk on increasing safety protocols for bus drivers so they can feel safe at work. but you lot won’t care till its your loved ones sick or hospitalised.. godforbid but think before you speak people. I stand with chris furbert cancel the bus operations until work conditions improve. emperor Burt and his gov. can kiss scientist ass for all I care

    • sandgrownan says:

      It’s because, like taxi drivers, we’re sick of their sh*t. In a normal world, the public would be sympathetic. No-one wants people to be at risk.

      However, we have been held to ransom by bus drivers, the union(s) for decades. Now they want public support? Really.

      Taxi drivers wanting tax relief? Really? Try offering a decent service and you might get some support.

      Sorry, that ship has sailed. They are on their own. All we hear is “blah blah blah”

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